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North Korea: The Fortress Nation (and fun with Google Earth!)

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The recent shenanigans by the North Koreans this week sort of renewed my interest in North Korea and the weirdness that constitutes the whole of the country.

Here are some images from Google Earth that show some of the defenses the Hermit Kingdom employs to keep it safe from American "aggression."

Here is how the capitol of Pyongyang is defended. Every red box represents an anti-aircraft emplacement. Not just a single gun or missile, but an emplacement with many (8+) guns or missiles. The red boxes represent actual emplacements visible on Google Earth that I and others have found...

pyongyang_AAA.jpg

Here is a typical emplacement...

AAA_closeup.jpg

And they don't just defend the capitol like that. Here are locations of actual anti-aircraft emplacements around one of their nuclear reactors...

Nuclear_AAA.jpg

And that is just what a cursory glance as revealed. There are many, many more that I have not marked.

Artillery. The country is bristling with artillery. Just about any coastal area with hills or mountains hosts artillery emplacements. They look like this one. One of many that guard the east coast. Look closely and you can see the actual guns...

artillery.jpg

The country is full of military airports sporting planes that were developed in the 1940s, 50s, 60s and along with modern fighters and ground attack aircraft. Just a few of the many airfields I have found...

MiGs.jpg

aircraft.jpg

transport_aircraft.jpg

All this is needed, in part, to defend the most bizarre amusement park I have ever seen...

fun.jpg

If you haven't downloaded Google Earth, it's one of the free internet-gems that you really ought to take time to download and use. It's awesome.

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Of course, this waterslide requires artillery to defend...

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If you are one of the elite, you get to play on the above water slide.  If you are one of the millions of poor peasants, you get to live in villages like this.  All those bumps are thought to be burial mounds.  They sprung up by the tens of thousands following the famine in the late 90's.  Each mound is thought to hold 5-10+ bodies.  There are dozens of them scattered across the country.

mass_graves.jpg

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All those bumps are thought to be burial mounds. They sprung up by the tens of thousands following the famine in the late 90's. Each mound is thought to hold 5-10+ bodies. There are dozens of them scattered across the country.

Where do you get this information? I'm not doubting you. I'm just curious.

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The mounds are traditional Korean burial sites.  There are ground-level photos of these "traditional" burial mounds on the net. 

dprk-graves2.jpg

What you can't see from the ground are the vast areas they take up. 

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I was in Korea in '98-'99. I saw those type of burial sites, so I know they're for real. I have a picture of one of them, but that was in the pre-digital camera days, so I don't have any way to post it.

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Well, since the average N. Korean citizen believes their glorious leader is a (or "the") god, they aren't to be trifled with.  I wonder, however, how much longer they can sustain themselves.  China can't possibly desire close ties with them (or am I wrong?) and the russian states surely can't see them as allies (using the "the enemy of our enemy is our friend" doctrine)!  It's rather scary, though, as desperation can lead countries do some pretty dangerous things.

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It is scary.  Now it looks like a child will be in charge of things.  He doesn't inspire a lot of confidence

g-cvr-101008-kim-jong-un-3a.grid-6x2.jpg

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Don't we have a couple of members in Korea? I'd like to hear what they have to say about what's going on over there.

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I was in Korea in '98-'99. I saw those type of burial sites, so I know they're for real. I have a picture of one of them, but that was in the pre-digital camera days, so I don't have any way to post it.

I was there in 98-99 as well...what unit?

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I was in Korea in '98-'99. I saw those type of burial sites, so I know they're for real. I have a picture of one of them, but that was in the pre-digital camera days, so I don't have any way to post it.

I was there in 98-99 as well...what unit?

4/7 CAV, Camp Garry Owen

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NK is like a step back in time...

Korean War vintage bombers

bombers.jpg

Post-World War II tranport aircraft...

more_airplanes.jpg

And Russian or Chinese copies of American aircraft...

old_tranports.jpg

And then there is this wierd structure speculated to be a hanger for fighter planes under a mountain with runways that extend out of openings...

runway_through_mountain.jpg

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Well, since the average N. Korean citizen believes their glorious leader is a (or "the") god, they aren't to be trifled with. I wonder, however, how much longer they can sustain themselves. China can't possibly desire close ties with them (or am I wrong?) and the russian states surely can't see them as allies (using the "the enemy of our enemy is our friend" doctrine)! It's rather scary, though, as desperation can lead countries do some pretty dangerous things.

We are already responding to China's first official protest over plans by the U.S. and South Korea to hold joint military exercises.

I believe its a matter of time before this whole stupid world gets into it over N. Korea & Iran

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WOW, this is some pretty intriguing stuff

You ought to read the news they post on their Korean Central News Agency (KNCA) website.

Here's a teaser...

Obama slanders DPRK

The imperialist chieftain trendy Obama(note his intials BO) has slandered the great DPRK whilst in Seoul for the rubbishy farce of the G20.Obama says the same about the DPRK as Bush and even US presidents of the 1950s.This proves the US imperialist system does not change one iota

The DPRK that is the real power on the Korean peninsula not the south Korean puppet regime that is more and more dependent on the US and Japan all the time.The DPRK is the dignified independent socialist power of Songun that Obama should not dare to insult.The DPRK socialist system centred on the masses provides the people with an independent and creative life with free health care,education,jobs and houses.It is the south Korean people that live in misery and poverty many of them homeless or living in slums.

One day the US imperialists will pay dearly for slandering the DPRK and its Juche socialist system

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I have only ben here in Seoul Korea a couple of days but will be flying out of here for the next two weeks. It seems here at the airport that it is business as usual. There are demonstrations in the streets of S. Korea for the U.S. to quit war games and go home. There is shooting on an island about 30 miles from here and they are evacuating the island. The U.S.S. George Washington which is a nuclear aircraft carrier with its armada of support ships is off the coast (again about 30 miles away) flexing muscles. China has invited some high ranking officials from N. Korea for a summit on Tuesday. It is noon Monday here now so it won't be long to see if any progress will be made. It is not a comfortable feeling for sure. I just want to be on a good ole USA lake jerking lips.

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Kim Jong Il = Wayne Newtons grandma.

the term is overused, and used improperly, but consider this a literal instance of : LOL ;D

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The North Koreans are vicious. When I was in college, I worked with a man, Mr. Ramirez, who had been a Prisoner Of War in WWII as well as the Korean War. (How's that for luck.) He told me the Germans treated him exceptionally well compared to the North Koreans. The Germans at least fed him and treated him in a somewhat civilized manner. The North Koreans beat him repeatedly and refused to feed him. He ate whatever he could catch including bugs. He stated the conditions got a little better when the Chinese took over the prison camp.

I think North Korea will eventually collapse, unless they come around. And I think they are either too stupid or too proud to do that. They have only China to support their regime. And China, IMO, has no use for them anymore. They are ONLY a liability to China.

As far as the South Koreans, they can be vicious fighters, as well. My father was an Operations Officer for an Army artillery battery which was attached to and under the control of the US Marines in northern South Vietnam. His battery not only fired in support of the US Marines, they fired in support of one of two South Korean divisions that had been deployed to Vietnam during the war. Not many people know that the South Koreans had the second largest contingency of combat troops in Vietnam after the United States, and were among the last to pull out after the war. Here are few things he knows of, or actually witnessed:

South Koreans interrogated a NVA soldier then executed him in a ditch. Asked why he did it, the Korean officer in charge stated that "you can't reform a communist."

South Koreans threw a NVA soldier out of a helicopter after interrogating him. (Actually witnessed)

South Koreans caught a boy stealing from them. They cut the hands off the Vietnamese boy, put tourniquets on his arms, then a sign around his neck that said "This is what happens when you steal from the ROK" and sent him home.

A South Korean company obliterated a much larger NVA unit in an ambush. The NVA march into a "U" shaped position and when inside the South Koreans closed the U and killed most of the NVA. The North Vietnamese ordered their troops not to engage South Korean forces after that.

The South Koreans had their own light artillery - 105mm howitzers. NVA troops attempted to overrun the base. The South Koreans set the fuses on their rounds to explodes only yards outside the muzzles of their guns. They repulsed the attack killing many NVAs in the process.

My dad met many times with South Korean commanders in Vietnam since his battery fired heavy artillery in support of South Korean forces. He has the highest regard for them as fighters, but that they had no regard for the lives of the enemy.

But they weren't without humanity.  Here is a ROK soldier rescuing Vietnamese children during a village fight.

1gg6.jpg

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